Day 58 – A long day in Washington

Waitsburg, WA to Kennewick, WA

Today started out great but didn’t end too well.  We had a short ride, only 55 miles today, so we were excited about that, and we rode pretty fast as a result of a downhill and tailwind combination that let us average over 20 mph for the first 40 miles, and despite a flat in my front tire 30 miles in, we were still the first group to make it in at around 11:30 AM.  Until we got the flat, we were riding with a huge group, almost every one of the guys was riding together, it’s funny but that almost never happens, it usually splits up into at least 3 or 4 groups within the first few miles.  It is really hot here in Washington, and it is almost a desert out here in the eastern part of the state, so there are no trees for shade and we felt like the grass today, brown and dried out and hoping for some cooler weather.  We did start to see a bit more green today, we saw multiple wineries and apple farms, so I suppose its not really all that dry, it just felt like it today.  We were happy to be inside when we made it to the church and in A/C and even happier to take a hose shower.  After that, we had the whole day to ourselves, so we went to get some amazing root beer from the A&W down the street and got some donations, so thanks to everyone we met there!!  After getting back, I just relaxed and read and listened to music(almost done with Volume I of the Sherlock Holmes books!), and we got a free look at the "Air" portion of the Kennewick Air and Water show from the church courtyard, which was pretty awesome.

At night, I realized that the reason that I hadn’t seen my personal bag of snacks in two days was that they were no longer in the van.  So all of the Cliff bars and snacks and cereal that I had bought and been saving for the upcoming climbs into the mountains and for the stay in Mt. Rainier are gone.  It appears that someone took my bag of stuff with my name all over it and decided that it looked like trash, so I was pretty upset about that, and had to got to the store at night to buy more supplies so that I would have something to eat at the snack stops since the team is out of supplies and we are on our own for the rest of the trip.  I guess it turns out this trip has a lot more miscellaneous costs that you don’t know about until the trip starts, what with all the extra food we buy almost every day, tubes, tires, food for rest days, and now all our snacks, but it is for a good cause, and I’m not complaining.  I’m cheering myself up now by watching the beautiful Washington sunset and rocking out to some music while I write this.  Everyone is dreading tomorrow, a 100+ mile ride in what is supposed to be over 100 degree weather, but we are all so close to 4000 miles that no one wants to sit it out either.  Justin is scheduled to drive and has been desperately searching for someone who doesn’t want to ride tomorrow, but hasn’t found any takers yet.  We are only two days from Mt. Rainier, so tomorrow we are starting early(4:30AM) to beat the heat and hoping that the hills aren’t too bad.

States traveled through:18(NY,NJ,PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV, OH, IN, IL, WI, MN, SD, WY, MT, ID, WA)
Distance today: 55 mi (plus 5 to A&W and Walgreens)
Total Distance traveled:  3635 mi

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